The New Yorker: What we can learn from procrastination
Noticing a theme here? I'm having serious productivity troubles right now, and I'm trying to trick myself out of them. "The philosopher Mark Kingwell puts it in existential terms: 'Procrastination most often arises from a sense that there is too much to do, and hence no single aspect of the to-do worth doing… Underneath this rather antic form of action-as-inaction is the much more unsettling question whether anything is worth doing at all.' In that sense, it might be useful to think about two kinds of procrastination: the kind that is genuinely akratic and the kind that’s telling you that what you’re supposed to be doing has, deep down, no real point. The procrastinator’s challenge, and perhaps the philosopher’s, too, is to figure out which is which."
"If you want to work on big things, you seem to have to trick yourself into doing it. You have to work on small things that could grow into big things, or work on successively larger things, or split the moral load with collaborators. It's not a sign of weakness to depend on such tricks. The very best work has been done this way."
"Capable psychonauts who think about thinking, about states of mind, about set and setting, can get things done not because they have more will power, more drive, but because they know productivity is a game of cat and mouse versus a childish primal human predilection for pleasure and novelty which can never be excised from the soul. Your effort is better spent outsmarting yourself than making empty promises through plugging dates into a calendar or setting deadlines for push ups."
An Open Letter to Cursor by Richard Eoin Nash | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home
"I’m afraid of what the systematic harnessing of communities will result in." Specifically, he's afraid that it will result in a) fans wasting their time and money and b) the artist being relegated to the sidelines while context and 'engagement' take over. Valid fears if you ask me, and exactly the sort of the thing that Matt LeMay outlines in the MBV post 'Living in the Age of Art vs Content' (http://www.mbvmusic.com/2010/10/19/living-in-the-age-of-art-vs-content/26911).
NYTimes.com: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks’ Dangers Are Cited
"'I do not see any socially redeeming purpose being served by these beverages. At the end of the day, they’re aimed at a young, inexperienced market for the purpose of enabling them to become rapidly intoxicated.'"
"A day in the life of the President."
"Durable achievement demands a long time horizon—something that the country as a whole seems to have lost. We can’t wait for the carrots to grow—we keep pulling them up to see how they’re doing. Thus, deeply complex problems, from illegal immigration to the BP oil spill—problems that by definition have no quick or easy solution, despite their obvious urgency—become easy emblems of presumptive failure, whatever the president may actually be doing to address them."
The Awl: Being a Hipster Is an Excellent and Wonderful Thing!
"People don't hate hipsters, and hipsters don't hate themselves. What people hate so much is the faux-hipsters: they hate poseurs. And because it's such an irritating thing to be having to tell the real from the fake (exactly as in the matter of overpriced European handbags), the easiest way out is simply to deny any involvement in the whole business. That is why nobody, not even someone who fervently embraces hipster culture, wants to call himself a hipster."
Chicago Reader: Music Column: Plagued by Pitchfork
"'It sucks,' he says. 'It's no fault of any of the people in the industry, but music is not the main focus of my life. I never really planned on it being that way. When I meet people on the business end of this music-industry thing, they tend to really gross me out. I'm not trying to make money through this.'"
The Guardian: Insane Clown Posse: And God created controversy
"'I stuck her with my wang. She hit me in the balls. I grabbed her by her neck. And I bounced her off the walls. She said it was an accident and then apologised. But I still took my elbow and blackened both her eyes.' That's clearly a song about domestic violence. So your Christian message is... don't be like that man?" "Huh?" Violent J repeats, mystified.
Disquiet: Musicians Respond to Bandcamp.com “Pay-for-Free” System
A followup to the article 'Do Fees Rationalize/Incentivize Communal-Culture Ecommerce?' checks in with actual musicians using the site, and finds that they're more or less unfazed by the change, and don't think it's evil by any means.
How native-language subtitled music videos dramatically increased literacy in rural India. And there's a local professor here promoting the same SLS ('Same-language Subtitles') idea. Would be nice to talk to him.
"The Auerglass is a two person pump organ created by Tauba Auerbach and Cameron Mesirow (AKA the musician Glasser). The instrument cannot be played alone. Each player has a keyboard with alternating notes of a four octave scale. Each player must pump to supply the wind to the other player's notes."
I asked a question and it got answered: "The rally, hopefully, will get a lot of people who have become frustrated with the political process engaged again. To the extent that it succeeds in that, I’m for it. If it does it while being entertaining, I’m doubly for it."
Sophiologist: Pres. Obama on Republicans in yesterday’s Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, 9/6/10
"These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class. They drove our economy into a ditch. And we got in there and put on our boots and we pushed and we shoved and we were sweating and these guys were standing, watching us, sipping on a Slurpee."